Public Choice

, Volume 147, Issue 3–4, pp 359–376 | Cite as

The creation of multi-ethnic nations with or without a core region

  • Ahmed Saber Mahmud


What holds a multi-ethnic nation together? To answer this question, we take region as the unit of analysis and focus on factors such as the size of a region, its geographical location, and its external factors. A large region or a ‘core state’ can enhance a coalition by providing more public goods, but it can also deter a coalition from forming by discouraging the existing members from accepting new members. When the net impact is positive, the large region acts like Huntington’s ‘core state,’ i.e., it helps to sustain the coalition. External effects induce coalition formation when the externality is negative, while positive externality discourages formation by encouraging free-riding.


Core state 

JEL Classification

F02 O57 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Johns Hopkins UniversityBaltimoreUSA

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